First try taking a strengths test at
It’s the one called VIA Survey of Character Strengths. It is free to take the text providing you sign up for the terms included where they use the data for research.
Then you can look for the things you have learnt that relate to each of your character strengths. Here’s my example. Each of my strengths are listed and beside each one are some of the things I have learnt in relationship to that strength. Together they make a web of story that expresses who I am and helps put every challenge faced into a place of positive significance rather than head in hands sorrow.
Caution, Prudence and Discretion:
If you don’t like the limelight, take a step to the left. The light won’t shine in your eyes there.
Just because the buttons are shiny does not mean you need to wear the uniform.
When your tank runs out of oxygen it’s time to get out of the firefighting simulator.
Doing an assault course does not make you a better leader.
I am not good at parking a warship. This has not mattered much in later life.
Just because you are good at something does not mean you have to do it, just because you are not good at doing something does not mean you have to stop.
The body can help the mind to make better decisions and take better actions.
Love of learning / curiousity in the world:
Making new connections between things creates bridges for new ways of thinking.
There are some things that can’t be learnt from a book.
There is no course or programme or one coach that will get you where you want to be, you have to do that yourself.
Self Control and Self Regulation:
You have to look after yourself to give to others with grace.
The workout you hate to do is not necessarily the best one. In fact most likely it isn’t.
You are the same person, no matter where you live.
Intention helps shape your future.
You get to choose whether to be kind or mean to yourself.
Wherever you move there is a new friend to be made.
A relationship requires two people to spend some time together.
Long distance relationships become short distance relationships if they are working for you.
Leading is not telling others what to do.
Leaders think of those who follow them.
My dog will always be a puppy and that’s O.K..
My child will sometimes get things wrong and that’s O.K..
Babies eventually sleep through the night. They do this no matter how many parenting books you read.
Take the test. What are your strengths? Find how they link with your story by saying what you have learnt in relation to each of them. Post what you found in the comments.
(With thanks to Jessica Steward, Martha Beck Master Coach and the Martha Beck Life Coach training programme for introducing me to this exercise.)